91-103 ‘Narottam Das Thakur Disappearance Day (CC AL-01) ‘ By Radhanath Swami, in Mumbai 91-097 ‘Ascendance of the Personal World of Krishna (SB 10.1.26-28)’ by Radhanath Swami
ity uktaù sa khalaù päpo
bhaginéà hantum ärabdhaà
khaòga-päëiù kace ‘grahét
Kamsa was a condemned personality in the Bhoja dynasty because he was envious and sinful. Therefore, upon hearing this omen from the sky, he caught hold of his sister’s hair with his left hand and took up his sword with his right hand to sever her head from her body.
Kamsa was driving the chariot and controlling the reins with his left hand, but as soon as he heard the omen that his sister’s eighth child would kill him, he gave up the reins, caught hold of his sister’s hair, and with his right hand took up a sword to kill her. Before, he had been so affectionate that he was acting as his sister’s chariot driver, but as soon as he heard that his self-interest or his life was at risk, he forgot all affection for her and immediately became a great enemy. This is the nature of demons. No one should trust a demon, despite any amount of affection. Aside from this, a king, a politician or a woman cannot be trusted, since they can do anything abominable for their personal interest. Canakya Pandita therefore says, visvaso naiva
kartavyah strisu raja-kulesu ca.
Wanting to pacify Kamsa, who was so cruel and envious that he was shamelessly ready to kill his sister, the great soul Vasudeva, who was to be the father of Krishna, spoke to him in the following words.
Vasudeva, who was to be the father of Krishna, is described here as mahä-bhäga, a very upright and sober personality, because although Kamsa was ready to kill Vasudeva’s wife, Vasudeva remained sober and unagitated. In a peaceful attitude, Vasudeva began to address Kamsa by putting forward reasonable arguments. Vasudeva was a great personality because he knew how to pacify a cruel person and how to forgive even the bitterest enemy. One who is fortunate is never caught, even by tigers or snakes.
Selfish Interest :
We Have the example of Kamsa, one who is dedicating his life to his own self interest, one who is too much attached to his sense gratification, such a person according to shatra is declared to be an assura or demon. And one who can not control his senses in this way can not be trusted, because there so called affection, there so called love, is only in expression of there own lust and greed. Whatever will best serve the purpose to gratify there senses they are like that. But if one, even ones own beloved he comes an obstacle to ones sense gratification, such a person becomes your enemy.
So Called Affection :
But we see that this world, most people on this classification. Even within a family the parents will love their child so much, so called love, giving them all affection, giving them gifts, giving them so much of there likes, but of course why is that? Generally its for their own selfish interest. Because they consider the child to be their own. The child has their name, the child has their physical appearance, child is mine, my this child is my property. I am the controller of this child and as long as the child is giving me the sense gratification that I want, which means the object by which I can be posed natural propensity of affection then, I show also affection to the child. But if the child betrays me, the child is not under my control, if the child isn’t the way I want the child to be, then in the society we find parents often, they can show no affection to the child, they reject their child.
Extreme Example :
To an extreme case, this was in sense of Hiranykashipu. How affectionate he was to Prahlad, it describes in Bhagavatam that when Prahlad would sit on his lap, his father eyes were full with tears and his parental affections was deep, his eyes would fill with tears, he would smell the top of his head, he would rub him, he embraced him. He just, when Prahlad was doing well in school, his father’s heart was just upsurged with the feeling of the gratification and pride. But as soon as he found that Prahlad was not like him, he is out of his control, is acting contrary to his sense gratification, his prestige. Could you imagine, what that would do to Hiranykashipu’s prestige within his society of rakshasas? Here he is, putting himself in the platform of the controller of the universe, his own son is a devotee, it’s terrible.
Demoniac Mentality Is :
1.Only My Sense Enjoyment :
So, therefore all that affection which was meant really not for Prahlad, but for his own sense enjoyment in the first place, he was just an object to give him sense enjoyment, that was what he was affectionate toward, his sense enjoyment. He was ready to kill him. What to speak of friends, here we have the example of kamsa. And why does the shastra brings these things out? Why does Krishna arranges in this way? How affectionate relatives become enemies when you don’t fulfill their sense enjoyment. This is extreme intensity of demonic condition of the world.
2. Because You Give Me Sense Gratification – I Care For U, Love U :
Kamsa’s own sister, he was actually cousin brother, but in those days there is no difference between brother and cousin brother, in affection and in closeness, of relationship. Kamsa was the brother, the elder brother of Devaki and how much affection & love he had for her. She was so beautiful, he was so proud of her, she was giving him all type of sense gratification. She is a family member that means, she is an object by which I can have sense gratification by showing affection toward her and love her. And he was so affectionate toward her that, he volunteered to be her shofer, when he was in very very well position as prince.
He said, Oh my dear sister, you are getting married, this is a happy, wonderful, joyous occasion. Kamsa took part in the wedding ceremony and rejoiced and celebrated. And he was so happy for his sister, really was he happy for his sister? he was happy for himself. He got to go in a nice party and because it was on the basis of his sister’s wedding, he was very happy, very affectionate to her. More prestige was coming into the family because she was marring Vasudev, he was very happy, very proud. So out of sure affection he volunteered, let me drive you and your husband to your husband’s village, his kingdom.
And he said it with such brotherly affection that Vasudev and Devaki could not refuse. Yes of course, such an honor when you will drive us, such a grate powerful person as yourself. And in this way he was driving and as they were driving you could imagine how his heart was filled with so much happiness. My sister how I love her.
3. If You Are a Threat To My Sense Gratification – You Are My Enemy :
And then this voice came from the sky that kamsa, you know the eighth son of your sister is going to kill you. And as soon as kamsa saw that Devaki is no longer an object of sense enjoyment for him ,
but a threat for sense enjoyment, he became her worst enemy. With his left hand he grabbed her by the hair and with the right hand he took a sword and he was ready to sever her head from her trunk, his own sister. And after coming to power, his own father he put him in prison.
Crisis Shows Our Real Friends :
Love is cheap in this material world; this is a nature of demoniac atmosphere, especially in this age of Kali that people are so attached to there senses. We can not trust them. So called friends in this world, even disciples, you don’t know who loves you, until there is a crises in your life. And those people who stand by your side and willing to take risk, along with you, you know that those people are not demons, those people are actually devotees, those people are at least innocent.
Trust A Devotee Not A Sense Enjoyer :
So the main principle as explained in this purport is that a person who can not control his senses or her senses is not to be trusted. Srila Prabhupad use to say, that the whole world is trying to cheat each other. This world is of the cheaters and the cheated, that’s all. In the name of love and affection there is simply mutual exploitation.
But if you can just have faith that your guru is not trying to cheat you then, the road back to godhead will become very simple, very clear. Because the devotees of the Lord, they are meant to be Gods representative in this world. And the only way that they can really represent God is, they must be in a position to earn the trust of the people in general. Because without trust the message of Godhead can not really penetrate the persons heart.
Real Preaching Is To Earn The Trust :
We can preach in so many ways and we can entertain people’s intelligence and give some gratification to their brains, by speaking nice philosophy and convincing words and telling them nice stories. But the person will not really accept what you are saying within their heart until, they trust you. It’s all mental. And therefore the first principle of preacher must really strive for is to somehow or other earn the trust of the people. Then what ever you say they will accept it. They will hear with open ears, open mind, open heart not for their entertainment but for their purification. After all anybody could just sit and listen to nice narration and enjoy but that doesn’t mean it’s going to change their heart.
Pious Entertainment :
They are not necessarily even accepting whatever you are saying is true, which sounds nice. Some what pious form of entertainment rather than turn on the television and going to the cinema we go to the pravachan and enjoy it’s a pious way of entertainment. That is nice. It is a step in right direction but until, you learn to trust the person you are hearing from and trust the message that they are speaking, it’s going to have a minimal affect.
Love And Trust :
Therefore love and trust, basis of this Krishna Consciousness movement. Srila Prabhupad always said that the fiber of the sustenance of this movement are these two ideals “Love and Trust”. Without trust there can be no love and without love there can not be Krishna Consciousness. So, therefore it is our grate grate aspiration we should be thinking like this, that we have to learn to be trust worthy disciple, trust worthy god brother, god sister.
How To Develop :
We have to develop first the sense of love and trust amongst each other. And then we will create this foundation by which other people can come and take Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement of love of God and grow. But in order for there to be such love and trust it is explaining here, we first learn how to control our senses. Because as long as we can not control our senses, we are not servant of God, we are godas. There is Krishna das and godas. If you are godas, you will just do what ever there is need for to protect your sense enjoyment in this world. Friend in need is a friend in deed.
Kamsa Within All Of Us :
And of course here kamsa, he is displaying the inclination that is within all of us. We all having this “kamsa propensity” with in us. That I am number one and my interest is first. As they say in English “ First we have to care of number one and it’s me”. Every thing else comes latter. Not how can I serve, how can I enjoy?
Enjoyment In The Name Of Service :
And some people even come to serve, for their own enjoyment. But the test is when that service creates a risk, creates a danger, some thing that you hate to do, then if you do it any way then you understand you are servant in true. But if you don’t you can understand you never really been a servant. You always simply wanted to enjoy and doing the service is just part of your enjoyment in life. Anybody can do what they like, doesn’t take a loving trusted person to do what they like.
Real Mood Of Service :
But when somebody is willing to take risk, make sacrifice and do things that they hate to do and you understand that that person is in the mood of service. And Krsna tests everyone and how much He tested Kamsa and how Kamsa terribly failed the test.
Enjoying Spirit Makes Makes One Asura :
And the amazing thing is that even though Kamsa became such an asura , not only did he kill the first 6 children of Devaki, but he was killing all the babies born throughout the whole kingdom. He was killing thousands and thousands of little babies on his order. Why? To protect his own sense enjoyment to such an extreme. There are people like this today , there are huge wars taking place simply because some man has an ego problem and he wants to satisfy his ego. It doesn’t matter how many millions of people are killed ,if it gives him a special sense of prestige, power and control. This is been going on since time immemorial.
You Will Loose It Anyways :
And in the long run the eighth son of Devaki killed Kamsa. All this terrible karma he accumulated and he couldn’t even avoid his destiny. So similarly people do all crazy things , become enemies of those whom they are supposed to love. And thus commit great offenses to others just to maintain their own sense enjoyment, but they can’t even do it. In due course of time it’s all taken away anyway. Just like Hiranyakasipu how much he wanted to kill Prahlad. If he just accepted Prahlad as a devotee and loved him for what he was, even though it is an embarrassment for him, wouldn’t have been so bad. Actually he would have made such wonderful spiritual advancement by doing so. But ultimately although he hated Prahlad and he was trying to kill him in so many ways, in the process he was totally miserable and in the end he was murdered by the Lord Himself. Krsna’s causeless mercy upon him.
Misery Throughout Till End :
So similarly Kamsa he’s trying to find sense gratification, trying to have happiness, security and peace of mind in his life and to protect that he wants to kill all the children and through that whole process he was in total anxiety. This is the materialistic way of life. People doing same things for peace and in the process there is no peace. People turn against the people they love, because they want a sense of ego gratification for happiness but through the whole process they are totally miserable and frustrated. It’s insanity – this material world. For a little happiness what a person is willing to do, atroces sinful karma and they don’t even get happiness, during the process and in the end. It’s just a great illusion. And we all have this tendency and we all have this demon of Kamsa somewhere in our own minds, until we become very very purified souls.
Tests Testify Whether We Are Servant Of Krishna Or Our Own Ego :
So we must be very careful to not act for our own self interest, but to act for the pleasure of Krsna. To actually capture the real spirit of service. And that real spirit of service is captured to the extent we are willing to put ourselves second. And when Krsna so mercifully and kindly puts a test before us that to be servant means to be ridiculed, to suffer, to loose fame and name in society. If we are not willing to do that then we could understand we’ve never really been a servant of Krsna, we’ve simply been a servant of our own ego and senses. When those test come and we gladly and willingly accept “Yes Krsna for you, Yes Guru Maharaj for you anything” then we understand what is Krsna consciousness.
Is there are any question?
Question: When we go out, we have some transactions, some dealings with outside karmis. So how to deal with them when there consciousness is contaminated?
Be Cautious, Careful And Aware :
Maharaj : You should deal with everybody, but as far as your own personal commitments, to the really and truly valuable things in your life, you should only interest that, which really means your heart, to those who are self controlled and to those who are humble devotees of the Lord. And you should simply be aware, that if you are investing Krsna’s energy in anyways, shape or form which is sometimes required, through these agencies of people who cannot control their senses, you have to be very aware and cautious. In that way you don’t really trust them. If you are cautious and aware, with someone that you trust you are not cautious and aware with .Right! You would you simply give yourself unhesitatingly. Correct!
Trust Only God :
With such people we have to be very cautious and aware and Vasudeva was like that. Vasudeva had to deal with Kamsa. He had to preach to him and after Vasudeva preached to Kamsa, Kamsa said “alright. I will not kill. Just bring me the first child”. And Vasudeva was such a trusting person , he brought him. He didn’t have to, He could have hid him, he brought him. And Kamsa was thinking this person is accepting my authority so wonderfully. It’s again a sense enjoyment. He’s such an honorable person he takes my word so seriously that he’s brought his own child and he said “Vasudeva take the child back. I don’t have to worry about this one, it’s the eight one I’m worried about” and what was Vasudeva thinking when he left “ I don’t trust him. I’ve to deal with him. There’s no alternative but I do not trust him”. Because he could not control his senses, he can change his mind at anytime and turn against me, which he did. So we have to deal with people in this world in the same way that Vasudeva is doing with Kamsa. We have to show them a sense of trust, but in your heart, your trust is for God , His devotees and therefore you deal with such person with great caution, great care. Know that any moment they can cheat you.
Yes Shymananda !
Question : In our sadhana how do we know that what we are doing is for Krsna ?
Do It Because Guru And Krsna Wants :
Maharaj : How do we know?
When it doesn’t give us pleasure, we do it anyway, because its the order of guru, then we know we are doing it for Krsna. Thats when we know. If you do it as regulation, and you are not doing it on the whims of your own mind and senses, then you can understand, that you are really in an attitude of a servant. And when things get difficult and there is a lot to stake, and you continue, then you understand. Yes , Krsna is putting me in this situation, just so that I can reveal to him, that I really do want to be his servant. So, welcome the tests and hardships that come in your spiritual life. Because they are what separate sincere from the insincere. Those test makes the sincere more sincere, and the insincere less sincere.
Question : we find that the ego is very difficult………
Subtle Sense Gratification :
Maharaj : But the ego is a sense. There are five senses , which include the mind- the 6th sense. So, the ego which is the servant of the mind Or the mind which is the servant of the false ego. It’s also a type of sense gratification, profit , adoration and distinction are subtle sense gratification. Correct. And what is profit , adoration and distinction, its all just ego, the false ego, correct !.There are people who can very staunchly control their gross senses, but they are not humble. Therefore they are really serving their false ego. They are serving the subtle form of sense gratification.
Hiranyakashipu , for the 100 celestial years, he was really controlling his senses, he didn’t eat, he didn’t drink, he didn’t sleep. He was standing with his arms raised to the sky on his toes. He didn’t even breathed. Can you control your senses like that. A 100 celestial years with no food,no sleep and no eating, he was celibate for that whole 100 years, total celibacy. He was controlling the senses like anything. But for what?
Is he doing it as a humble servant to God. He was doing it, simply for his ego. So, we are not concern with that type of sense control. That is just a greater form of sense gratification. Giving up a little to get a lot.
Any other question
Question : In this material world ,we go for sense gratification, We don’t get it , BUT again we try for it . In this way we spend our full life . And this i see with all people .So why is this ? why we don’t learn from the previous experiences?
Krsna’s Deluding Energy :
Maharaj : This is the power of Maya. Krsna’s deluding energy. Although its so obvious to a devotee, but they are just so much under the spell of Maya, that they can not see there situation. It is because, they are so attached to their sense enjoyment, they are not willing.. , when you become attached to sense gratification you become simply under the intoxicating spell of maya. And even if something is right before your eyes, you don’t want to see it. You can’t see it. This is the power of deluding potency. Therefore in the Bhagavatam and in the scriptures we find devotees, how they are struck with wonder to see the deluding potency of maya. How people are just acting so crazy and its obvious the foolishness they can’t see it. This is the greatness of krsna. When you see this, you should just simply think krsna, my God, your external energy is so powerful, how powerful you must be. keep people so totally be fooled, this is the greatness and the glory of krsna, in the form of the deluding potency of Maya.
Analogy Of Prison And Ass :
Its like a prison, but in this prison there are no bars, no guards. The bars are, that we don’t want to leave it. Even though we may be kicked and kicked and kicked , we just don’t want to leave it. Its just like, if you see an ass, and when they want ass to pour heavy heavy load, they just tie a carrot in a stick in front of him . And he is going after the carrot. But he never reaches the carrot. To the ass he is working like an ass, all day long because he want to get that carrot, although everyday he never gets it.
You Can See As It Is – If You Are Detached :
N ow a person who is just standing on the side, just thinks, looks at him and laughs, its ridiculous, everyday he is doing it, he never gets it, can’t he see it , he will never get it , its impossible, its on a stick. Every time he walks, it goes 1 step ahead of him. We look at it , we just see total foolishness, because we are detached. Because we are detached , we see the ignorance of it. But because the ass is attached , he can’t see his own predicament. As long as you are attached,you cannot see, the utterly, humiliating condition you are in, in this material world, how foolish!. Striving for something which is never attained. But if you are detached you can just look at the whole world and see it for what it is. And on one hand you laugh and on other hand you cry. You laugh the people are so foolish,its so obvious And you cry that they are suffering so much because of it.
If Attached – Intelligence Gone :
But you see, the amazing thing we have seen so many devotees, who can obviously see this, its so logical,so right before our eyes, but as soon as that devotee becomes attached, he falls into the same syndrome. Its inconceivable. Well this person could see as it is , could preach it , could explain it as it is, as long as he is detached. But as soon as he becomes too much attached, as soon as he allows maya to set that attachment in his heart, he becomes the whole part of it , he looses his intelligence. Everything he was preaching , everything he was saying, now he is totally covered over. That is why Prabhupad said in Krsna consciousness it is like razors edge. One has to be very very cautious , very careful. If you become attached, as soon as there is attachment , Blood. Maya just steals away our intelligence.
How To Remain Detached :
H ow to remain detached, by always keeping our senses and our mind engaged in service of our spiritual master, the vaisanavas, Krsna. That way we will always be protected. The mind and senses need activity, they need pleasure, keep it with Krsna. And perform austerity for Krsna, that will keep you detached.
In the Bhagavatam , when lord Brahma , he attached to his own daughter , in a wrong way, he totally lost his intelligence. Even his own disciples, the sages , they were looking at him. He was chasing. Thats the power of the deluding potency. Therefore we should just be very humble and pray for the shelter of our guru and krsna.
Hare Krsna !
- 91-102 ‘Attachment For Sense Enjoyment (SB 10.1.35)’ by HH Radhanath Swami
- 91-011 ‘Being A Humble Servant (SB 9.4.24)’ by HH Radhanath Swami, in Mumbai
- 91-111 ‘Changing Our Consciousness (SB 10.01.42)’ by HH Radhanath Swami, in Mumbai
- 91-097 ‘Ascendance of the Personal World of Krishna (SB 10.1.26-28)’ by Radhanath Swami
About the author
Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths.